Researchers at the Salk Institute have studied marijuana compounds and Alzheimers disease neurons. Neurons are also called nerve cells or brain cells. In the laboratory they found that compounds in marijuana reduce inflammation and remove amyloid beta in the neurons.
The study is considered preliminary, in laboratory models and any use of these compounds in treatment would require clinical trials. It does raises questions about possible uses of marijuana compounds in treating Alzheimer’s in the future. How distant in the future is unknown.
The compounds are called cannabinoids, and one which has been identified has the scientific name tetrahydrocannabinol.
“Although other studies have offered evidence that cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” says Salk Professor David Schubert, the senior author of the paper.
What’s also unique about this study is explained in this quote…
“Inflammation within the brain is a major component of the damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but it has always been assumed that this response was coming from immune-like cells in the brain, not the nerve cells themselves,” says Antonio Currais, a postdoctoral researcher in Schubert’s laboratory and first author of the paper. “When we were able to identify the molecular basis of the inflammatory response to amyloid beta, it became clear that THC-like compounds that the nerve cells make themselves may be involved in protecting the cells from dying.”
This is apparently the first study to suggest that inflammation in the brain from Alzheimer’s is produced by the neurons rather than cells of the immune system. The immune system fights inflammation, infection and associated conditions in the body.
And apparently the nerve cells make their own compounds similar to those found in marijuana to protect themselves.
Press Release Original Source of Quotes
The full scientific paper can be found at